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What we know today, Thursday August 6


Welcome to your serving of the day’s breaking news from South Australia, the nation and abroad. Follow this post for breaking news through the day.

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New SA COVID-19 case connected with cluster

SA Health announced a new case of COVID-19 today, in a late update related to what the department is calling the “Thebarton cluster”.

The woman is connected to Thebarton Senior College – a place visited by one of SA’s new cases of infection confirmed this week.

The college will now be closed with all 1100 staff and students asked to self-isolate until Saturday August 15.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said her team had identified a further 70 close contacts of the woman and all would be asked to quarantine in a “medi-hotel” as a precautionary measure.

The Thebarton cluster stems from another woman in her 20s who visited the school – as well as Roma Mitchell Secondary College – while infectious, passing the disease to a close contact who subsequently attended various northern suburbs businesses.

The latest case brings SA’s total to 457, with eight active cases.

Woman charged over Ann Marie Smith death

SA police have arrested and charged a Hectorville woman with manslaughter over the death of disabled Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith.

Superintendent Des Bray announced a short time ago that the arrested woman had been taken to the City Watch House and was likely to appear in court as early as this afternoon.

The charged woman’s house is currently being searched, along with another home at Banksia Park.

Police opened a manslaughter investigation in April after Smith died in hospital on April 6 under what police described as “disgusting and degrading” circumstances from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment.

The 54-year-old Kensington Gardens woman had cerebral palsy and had been for some years under the sole care of Hectorville woman Rosa Maione, who was a paid carer employed by Integrity Care SA with funding from the NDIS.

Bray said that the investigation had built a comprehensive picture of Smith’s life and the care she had received since her parents died in 2009.

“I can tell you that between 2009 and 2018, she led a more active and outgoing life, and that between 2018 and 2020 she became increasingly socially isolated and the quality of her life deteriorated rapidly,” he said.

Victorian toll rises by eight as tighter rules begin

Victoria has recorded 471 new coronavirus cases and eight more deaths, as new restrictions on workplaces and the regions came into effect overnight.

The figures are a significant improvement on yesterday’s record numbers of 725 new cases and 15 deaths

Four of the eight deaths were linked to aged care and included three men and two women in the 80s, one woman in her 90s and two men in their 60s, bringing the state’s toll from the virus to 170 and the national toll to 255.

The figures come as new restrictions requiring people in metropolitan Melbourne to show a permit or official work ID if they are by stopped by police to prove they are allowed to leave their homes.

Under the stage four rules, which began today, businesses caught issuing permits to workers who do not meet the requirements face fines of up to $99,123, while individuals can be fined up to $19,826.

But a permitted list worker list was only posted to the Victorian Department of Health website about 11pm on Wednesday, an hour before the measures came into effect.

Retailers across the city will largely be closed to customers and construction and manufacturing is also being scaled back to help slow the virus spread.

Regional Victoria has entered stage three restrictions, with residents only able to leave their homes for four reasons: to shop for food and essential items, to provide or receive care, to exercise, and to work and study if they can’t from home.

Teen arrested at Adelaide Airport over COVID breach

A southern suburbs teen has been arrested at Adelaide Airport for breaching COVID directions and allegedly abusing police

The 17-year-old male arrived home in Adelaide on a flight from New South Wales, via Victoria, about 1pm yesterday.

His non-essential travel application had been approved to travel from New South Wales, but not Victoria.

Police said the Christies Beach youth became abusive and refused to comply with the direction to wear a mask while they were clarifying his status.

He was bailed to appear in the Adelaide Youth Court on September 2 and directed into hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Elsewhere, police picked up a man in the Glenburnie Pine Forest about 2km inside the border with Victoria on Wednesday.

The man from Renmark is accused of breaching the border earlier in the day and was charged with breaching coronavirus directions.

Fresh SA restrictions on horizon

South Australians are being warned to brace for more restrictions.

The state’s Transition Committee and the National Cabinet will both meet tomorrow morning with new restrictions on the agenda.

Premier Steven Marshall said today that his government was remaining vigilant on restrictions but needed to have rules that reflected the current level of infections.

“We take decisions regarding restrictions incredibly seriously,” he said at today’s 1pm press conference.

“We’ll have an update of any changes to restrictions, if there are any following national cabinet.”

There have been a total of 456 cases reported in SA including eight active cases.

The latest round of restrictions kicked in yesterday, limiting home gatherings to 10 people – down from the previous limit of 50 – and only allowing people to drink alcohol at licensed venues while seated.

The state is looking at all density requirements, which currently require only two square metres for each person, and is likely to cut the number of people at AFL games from about 20,000 to about 10,000.

A new drive-through COVID-19 testing location opened in Victoria Park yesterday, conducting 900 tests on its first day as a record 6000 tests were conducted state wide. A new testing centre at Aldinga opened today.

Barossa winery named Australia’s best

The 2012 Hill of Grace.

Henschke Wines has been named winery of the year at the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

The Barossa winery, which makes the world-renowned Hill of Grace Shiraz  was rated on top of 1165 Australian wineries in the awards, which were held online for the first time.

McLaren Vale winery Varney Wines was named new winery of the year while Brett Grocke from Eperosa Wines in the Barossa was declared winemaker of the year.

Barossa winery Brothers at War won the Grenache award with its Single Vineyard Grenache and Seppeltsfield, also in the Barossa, continued its reign as Australia’s standout fortified producer to again take out the title with its 100-Year-Old (1920) Para Liqueur.

Local food industry braces for second wave

South Australia’s food industry has been urged to put plans in place to deal with any supply issues related to the COVID-19 shutdown in Victoria.

In a bulletin to local producers, Food South Australia says the situation continues to be “highly dynamic”, with a heightened risk likely in SA in the coming weeks.

“As we can now see from the restrictions affecting production and supply in Victoria, it is essential to be prepared,” chief executive Catherine Sayer said.

“It is recommended that businesses consider working in crews as the more compartmentalised a workforce is, the better protection the business has.

“It is critical to all businesses that clear provision to minimise cross-infection is in place.”

The shutdown in Victoria has already prompted rush on some supermarket items in South Australia, including toilet paper.

But local officials said work was being done to ensure the continued supply of fresh food and other products and there was no need for customers to panic buy.

Sayer said Food SA was also reviewing its COVID-19 protocols to support businesses dealing with cross-border supply chain issues.

“As we know, the food and beverage sector is a key contributor to our state’s economy and will undoubtedly continue to play an important part as South Australia aims to recover from current challenges,” she said.

Beirut explosion ‘a terrible accident’: Morrison

Smoke rises near a destroyed grain silo following an explosion at the Beirut Port. Photo: EPA/Ibrahim Dirani/Dar Al Mussawir

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared the massive explosion in Beirut that killed 135 people including one Australian was a terrible accident.

Morrison indicated to reporters in Canberra this morning the government’s intelligence had ruled out a targeted attack as Lebanese authorities probe if negligence was to blame.

“Our advice is this is a terrible accident, an absolutely terrible accident,” he said

Australia is weighing up more support for Lebanon to cope with the devastating fallout after pledging $2 million to the relief effort.

One Australian was killed in the disaster, which centred on Beirut’s port where 2750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate was detonated.

More than 5000 people were injured in the explosion and up to 250,000 were left homeless after a shockwave smashed building facades, sucked furniture into streets and shattered windows.

The death toll is expected to rise beyond 135 as rescue workers search the rubble for survivors.

Australia’s embassy was severely damaged, with 95 per cent of the windows blasted out.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the seized ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.

In a national address he said the government was “determined to investigate and expose what happened as soon as possible, to hold the responsible and the negligent accountable.”

Nations near and far including Australia have pledged to help the country deal with the disaster.

Paris wasted no time in dispatching two plane-loads of specialists, rescue workers and supplies to Beirut on Wednesday.

The disaster comes atop the worst economic crisis in Lebanon’s modern history, and hesitancy among some backers, including France, to keep propping up a country in dire need of reform.

The EU commission said the plan was to urgently dispatch over 100 firefighters with vehicles, sniffer dogs and equipment designed to find people trapped in urban areas.

Britain has promised a $9.1 million humanitarian support package.

Virus toll tops 700,000

The global death toll from coronavirus now surpasses 700,000 with the US, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise.

The World Health Organisation has pleaded for young people, tired of lockdowns, to curb their partying as Scotland imposed new restrictions on the city of Aberdeen, closing pubs and restaurants and ordering visitors to stay away as a new virus cluster emerged there.

Spain, Belgium and France have seen a resurgence in new cases daily, leading to Germany issuing new travel advisories to its citizens.

France’s daily COVID-19 infections reached the highest in more than two months yesterday while Finland announced plans to reintroduce a recommendation to work from home whenever possible just days after dropping it, due to a rise in infections.

In North America, checkpoints will be set up in New York City to ensure that travellers coming from 35 states on its travel advisory list comply with a 14-day quarantine mandate.

The US government will pay pharmaceutical manufacture Johnson and Johnson over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential vaccine.

Top US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci told news agency Reuters drugmakers will likely have tens of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines ready in the early part of next year.

He said production would then be expected to ramp up to a billion doses by the end of 2021.

“I hope, and feel it’s possible, that by the time we get through 2021 and go around for another cycle that we’ll have this under control,” Fauci said.

Canada has signed separate deals with Pfizer and Moderna to supply millions of doses of their experimental vaccines.

Facebook launches TikTok twin

Facebook has rolled out its own version of social media rival TikTok in the United States and more than 50 other countries, embedding a short-form video service called Reels as a feature within its popular Instagram app.

Reels’ debut comes days after Microsoft said it was in talks to acquire TikTok’s US operations from China’s ByteDance.

TikTok has come under pressure from the White House, which has threatened to ban it and other Chinese-owned apps over data security concerns.

The launch escalates a bruising fight between Facebook and TikTok, with each casting the other as a threat.

Reels was first tested in Brazil in 2018 and then later in France, Germany and India, which was TikTok’s biggest market until the Indian government banned it last month following a border clash with China.

Similar to TikTok, Reels users can record short mobile-friendly vertical videos, then add special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

Those similarities led TikTok Chief Executive Kevin Mayer to call Reels a “copycat product” that could coast on Instagram’s enormous existing user base after “their other copycat Lasso failed quickly.”

Facebook faced similar charges at a congressional hearing on US tech companies’ alleged abuse of market power last week, with lawmakers suggesting the company has copied rivals like Snapchat for anti-competitive reasons.

Crows slump to 10th straight loss

Crows ruckman Reilly O’Brien battling with Max Gawn at the oval last night. Photo: Michael Errey/InDaily

Adelaide remains winless after only kicking one goal in the second half in its 51-point loss to Melbourne at Adelaide Oval last night.

The crows trailed by just five points at the main break before being overrun by the Demons in the second half to lose 13.10 (88) to 5.7 (37)

Adelaide is anchored to the bottom of the AFL ladder with 10 straight losses.

In the A-League, Adelaide United will take on Sydney FC at Sydney’s Olympic Park from 7pm tonight.

– with AAP and Reuters

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